Grandmaster Rose 07/1997 Spring Address
C&S Self Defense Association
Dear Students and Friends,
Though I comment at length on the results of a survey completed by our Black Belts as part of their yearly Association registration process, I would like to address one item that came up repeatedly. It was good to see that so many of our Black Belts expressed how much they have benefited from their membership in our Association. But, to be honest with you all- and should come as no surprise to you either I would imagine- is the fact that the Association does very little for you. It is not supposed to, for in truth: the Association is just all of you working hard at what you love: our Art. Without you, the Association would be meaningless. It is you, each of you- not just the Black Belts- who make the Association what it is. If it gives you strength, then in reality it is your own efforts at overcoming the adversities in your everyday life foundationed by your experiences in your training that give you this strength.
I agreed to form our Association at the request of our senior Black Belts who desired a formal structure to pursue my teachings. I strive to provide an environment of learning and personal fulfillment for each of you. And yet, there are times when I must either make decisions that are disagreeable to some or when I must 'lay the wood' to someone. You all have empowered me to do so by accepting membership in our Association. I respect this responsibility and take great care to not only act in your best interests as the leader of our Association, but to also be willing to change my position if it is brought to my attention that I may have gone too far- something those of you who know me will attest to that I do to great extreme at times thus creating much weeping and gnashing of teeth.
I, in turn, have empowered each of my direct Disciples to share the Art that I shared with them with others. They have my blessing to request that same sharing from each of their students. This is how we propagate good throughout our society. It is my position that each person who trains with me must be willing to do two things: First, they must be willing to totally share what I have taught them with others to such an extent that they directly affect the lives of at least two others. Second, they must require each of their students to do the same.
What do you think? Are you willing to take this responsibility upon yourself, even if you are not yet a Black Belt? What better way to make our society better than by first making ourselves strong, then by sharing this with others, and finally by getting others to do the same! Good luck in your efforts. Through a goal such as this, your own life will be enriched. As I have said many times, life is not a dress rehearsal; we don't get to do it again. So, don't waste your life in totally selfish pursuit. Share your hard work with others. Help everyone who is willing to work hard with you.
This is why I am not concerned with how big we get as an Association. My concern, as should yours be, is to help a few people who are also willing to help a few people rather than to try to help a lot of people who thus will not get the attention necessary to fully appreciate the depth of our Art and who will thus keep it for their own gain.
If you are just joining us now and are at the Yellow or Orange belt level, do not feel that you have nothing to share of value. You have your excitement and your new found commitment to a process that you can see will benefit you throughout your life. Your instructor expects you to be an active advocate of the principles that he or she is sharing with you. Take what little you know and build upon it for the good of all; not just yourself. Be right thinking and right living. Through your example, the power of our Art can make an impact on others. Other people expect right living and right thinking from Black Belts. I expect right living and right thinking from all of our members, not just the Black Belts.
What are you going to do today to make an impact? Notice I didn't ask you what you thought you could do. I ask what are you going to do. I expect you to do something. Do not sit around waiting for someone to do something for you or show you the way to do something for someone else. Take the training that you get on Deck and apply it the best way you know how and the best way you see fit in your everyday life. I trust you to do so, and so does your instructor, or he or she would not keep you as a student.
I expect you to take an active role in making your life what you want it to be. If I can be of any help to you, or offer any additional comments to assist you: call me, email me, write me, come see me. Do whatever you need to do, but know that I and every instructor in C&S Self Defense Association are there for you. We want you to achieve the success and good feelings in your life that you seek. We are there for you in any way you need us. Use that experience and knowledge; take advantage of it. I do not promote idiots to Black Belt nor do any of our Black Belts promote idiots. Take a look at the requirement sheets for some of our advanced ranks and see the exhaustive list of work that a person needs to complete in order to even petition for advanced rank. Your instructor is qualified to show you the way to achieve what you want. Ask him or her to point you in a direction. You will succeed because we want you to succeed and we will do whatever it is that we can as an Association to make sure it happens.
In our art,
Grandmaster Peter M. Rose